Safe sex is priceless, but you don’t HAVE to pay a cent.
If you’re thinking about getting intimate with someone, then you want to make sure you’re using protection. Condoms won’t offer you total protection against STD’s, but they are your best defense if you’re sexually active. Even though they’re less useful at protecting you against infections like herpes that can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, they’re 98% effective at preventing pregnancy and STI’s like chlamydia and gonorrhea. The good news is you can get condoms at tons of places – for free! So there’s really no excuse. Here are 10 ways you can avoid dishing out a few bucks at the pharmacy. Some of these methods don’t even require you to leave campus or your house.
1. Your school nurse’s office.
Not every high school offers free condoms (and if you go to Catholic school, they almost definitely won’t). But it’s worth strolling by the nurse’s office to see if they offer a bowl of freebies.
2. Your college’s health center.
You don’t even need to make an appointment. Walk in, locate the pile of free condoms, grab some, walk out.
3. Your college dorm.
They might be located by your building’s front desk or outside your RA’s door. If your dormcest hookup complains about not wanting to wear a condom, you know where to send him.
4. Actually, pretty much ANYWHERE on your college campus.
Including the student center, public restrooms, and the gym. Just remember that Catholic or Jesuit universities typically don’t offer free condoms at all for religious reasons — if that’s a concern for you, check out one of the options below.
5. Your doctor’s office.
You know that cringe-worthy moment when they ask if you’re sexually active? Yeah, that’s the right time to pop the question. Honestly, the doc will probably be proud of you for staying on top of your sexual health.
6. Planned Parenthood health centers.
PP doesn’t just do abortions — it’s a legit place to see doctors, get tested for STIs, and yes, get free condoms. Enter your ZIP code here to find the closest location.
7. Your local health department.
Google your town or city’s health department. The place might feel kinda like a DMV, but hey, at least the condoms will be free.
8. Use CondomFinder.
How cool is this? Type your ZIP code into CondomFinder.org and it’ll show you the closest place for you to find free rubbers. (The catch: it seems to provide more options in cities than in suburban or rural areas.)
9. By mail — seriously.
Depending on where you live, you might be able to take advantage of regional programs that mail you free condoms. Obviously, this option is best if you plan in advance, so you’re not waiting by the mailbox in the heat of the moment. And FYI: they come in discreet envelopes, so nobody will know what you’re getting.
- If you’re 12 to 19 and live in certain parts of California, you can apply to receive 10 condoms, 10 packets of lube, and info on STIs from the Condom Access Project.
- If you’re a resident of Washington, D.C., you can text “DCWRAP” to 61827 or call 311 and tell the customer service representative that you’d like to order free condoms. For more information, check out Rubber Revolution D.C.
10. Take a quiz.
BedSider has a quiz that can help determine if you’re eligible to receive free birth control (including condoms). Take it here to see if you qualify.